The untimely death, days before his 26th birthday, of cricketer Phillip Hughes following an awful injury whilst playing cricket has shocked and gripped many Australians in a way rarely seen. It might be difficult for overseas readers who have heard this news and who are not in cricket playing countries to understand the extent of the general distress being expressed but Hughes somehow embodied so much of how Australians see themselves and see their heroes. The news of his passing upset me as it did so many others.
The outpouring of grief around the world has been astonishing. This claim is not just hyperbole. On radio just minutes ago I heard that there have been 98,000,000 'views' around the world of photos on Instagram of cricket bats being displayed to mark Hughes passing. That's NINETY-EIGHT MILLION clicks on the internet in ONE day. Amazing.
Perhaps my emotion is amplified by another awful loss virtually simultaneous with that of Hughes. My volunteer co-worker of eight years at the Nursing Home, Da, passed away this morning little more than 12 hours later than Hughes after suffering a massive stroke on Wednesday morning also only a little more than 12 hours following Hughes' injury.
Da had been in good health, was only 67, ate healthily, exercised daily and simply was the last person I would imagine to be near the end of her days.
Both deaths reinforce the point; make the most of every day. Don't take life for granted, don't procrastinate about following your dreams and don't put off to another day telling your loved ones how much they mean to you. You may never get that chance.